Restoration Of Black Community Begins With Supporting Black Businesses

It took me many years to begin pay­ing atten­tion to American foot­ball.
I thought it was arro­gant, that as it is with base­ball a coun­try could play a game against itself and then declare itself world cham­pi­ons.
As a Jamaican through and through, I took umbrage with a coun­try that did not real­ly give respect to the uni­fy­ing game of soc­cer, a game that is played uni­ver­sal­ly.
In addi­tion to that, the United States nev­er both­ered with crick­et. My beloved cricket!.….….…yea, I have a prob­lem with that.
Cricket is played all across the globe, the West Indies, which dom­i­nat­ed dur­ing the time I was com­ing of age. Many Nations field­ed a nation­al crick­et team and today even more nations are field­ing nation­al crick­et teams.

The West Indies, England, Australia, New Zealand, Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Zimbabwe, now even Ireland and Afghanistan have International crick­et teams.
The United States does not. I thought there was a cer­tain degree of snooti­ness and arro­gance in the United States’ deci­sion, not to both­er play­ing a pop­u­lar game played by the rest of the world, but to cre­ate a com­pet­ing game, play among itself, and then declare itself world cham­pi­on. choos­ing to play base­ball over crick­et and to invent its own foot­ball game that no one else played rather than join­ing the rest of the world in soc­cer.
Since then it is impor­tant to note that the United States has field­ed a nation­al soc­cer team, still, no nation­al crick­et team.

But that is hard­ly my point, after much urg­ing from friends I reluc­tant­ly willed myself to begin under­stand­ing American foot­ball.
The more I watched and learned the more fas­ci­nat­ed I became with it, even though I will admit, I still do not believe that it requires any social skills perse.
Sure, it helps to be big, fast, and to pos­sess the abil­i­ty to jump high, throw a foot­ball far, or be built lion a tank to block a run­ner from the oth­er team or to stop a mad rush against your own quar­ter­back, etc.
But I still believe that a tal­ent­ed crick­eter, ten­nis play­er, or golfer, or a soc­cer play­er is a far dif­fer­ent tal­ent than that which is required to play in the (NFL). The National Football League.

Despite my ini­tial dis­dain for foot­ball, I grew to love the game, and became a big fan. I watched every down that I could, even though I real­ly did not cheer for any par­tic­u­lar team, out­side of my cur­so­ry inter­est in the New York Giants and Jets, both of which are based in New Jersey. And of course, I hat­ed the New England Patriots.
After a few years, I could not wait for the new sea­son to begin, and then Colin Kaepernick kneeled against police vio­lence and racism in the soci­ety, and all hell broke loose.
The igno­rant racist & divider- in-chief saw an open­ing and he stirred up the oth­er igno­ra­mus­es.
The divider-in-chief found in the event, a means to [diss the sons-of bitch­es](sic) [oth­er­wise called black men], and so he ran with it.
As dumb as he is, he is not too dumb to rec­og­nize that white America hates black men, and that by diss­ing them, he was solid­i­fy­ing his hold on them.

The reac­tion by the NFL not to stand up with Trump’s racist assault, not to men­tion his mass of deplorable racial­ists was too much for me. How could the NFL not stand with its play­ers?
What is the NFL with­out its 70% of black play­ers? How could a com­pa­ny not stand by its prod­uct?
Yes.…..dammit, I said [prod­uct] that is what the black play­ers are on that plan­ta­tion.
The Home Depot founder has decid­ed to keep sup­port­ing Donald Trump from what I read, but the com­pa­ny itself is try­ing to dis­tance itself from its own founder. They know black peo­ple buy from Home Depot too.
So they are mov­ing away from their big­ot­ed founder, they want to con­tin­ue sell­ing lum­ber, paints, and every­thing they sell, but the NFL refused to stand up with its prod­ucts, its black play­ers.
For me, that was a bridge too far.

The black­list­ing of Kap, and the resul­tant dis­trac­tion about not respect­ing the flag or the anthem, was a diver­sion from what police are doing.
For my part, it was enough for me to take a stand. My deci­sion nev­er to watch anoth­er pass thrown unless Kap was rehired or com­pen­sat­ed, may not have reg­is­tered on the (NFL-o-meter), but it gave me a sense of pow­er, and an adren­a­line rush to know that in my own lit­tle way I was stand­ing with Kap and the oth­er play­ers who were putting their careers in jeop­ardy on the NFL plan­ta­tion.

Now Drew Breeze, Roger Goodell, and oth­ers are pre­tend­ing that they are final­ly under­stand­ing what Colin Kaepernick and his col­leagues were say­ing after the protests the George Floyd lynch­ing ignit­ed across the globe.
What I found remark­able was that so many of my broth­ers, who are vic­tims them­selves of American racism, had indi­cat­ed to me that giv­ing up watch­ing NFL games was too much.…“I have to watch my games”… they tell me!
I thought it sad, that so many of my broth­ers and sis­ters are unwill­ing to sac­ri­fice any­thing toward their own eman­ci­pa­tion. Even after so many who have gone on before us have sac­ri­ficed so much and have enjoyed none of the ben­e­fits we are enjoy­ing today all things con­sid­ered.
Every damn one of those racists bas­tards who con­tin­ued to insist that kneel­ing when the nation­al anthem was being played was some kind of dis­re­spect to the flag, and coun­try, knew ful­ly well that it had noth­ing to do with either.
And even if it was dis­re­spect toward one or the oth­er, why would black peo­ple bow down to a coun­try that has nev­er respect­ed their right to exist as full human beings, much less an anthem that cel­e­brates their degra­da­tion?

When Black peo­ple stand up for their rights their oppres­sors have no choice but to back up and take notice. Will this upris­ing open the eyes of black peo­ple in America enough for them to real­ize they have their future in their own hands? I have no way of know­ing. Nevertheless, I see statutes of an ugly past tum­bling. I see new leg­is­la­tion being pro­posed, I see old safe­guards against account­abil­i­ty being torn away and I see those who enjoyed blan­ket immu­ni­ty from pros­e­cu­tion lash­ing out.
More than all, I see NASCAR ban­ning the Confederate flag from its events.
That is huge.……Will I ever watch anoth­er NFL game?
Maybe.….….It all depends on what the league does going for­ward.
The moral of the sto­ry is that as the most abused peo­ple across the globe, we must change some things about our­selves.
That means, we must be will­ing to sac­ri­fice a lit­tle, no mat­ter how small.
Yes, black folks, if you are not watch­ing foot­ball on your tele­vi­sion it [does]make a dif­fer­ence. Neilsen report­ing on who is watch­ing what, is one way deter­mine that when we chose not to watch we are mak­ing a dif­fer­ence.
When we turn the tele­vi­sion off all togeth­er we make an even big­ger dif­fer­ence because the cable com­pa­nies also do not stand with us.

The oth­er thing is the impor­tance of buy­ing from black busi­ness­es, and ensur­ing that if you expe­ri­ence poor ser­vice not to argue that you were cor­rect in not sup­port­ing black busi­ness­es because of an iso­lat­ed inci­dent. Tell the man­age­ment of your expe­ri­ence and ask that it be cor­rect­ed.
After all, you are spend­ing your mon­ey with peo­ple who hate you. They treat us with dis­dain and con­tempt, yet you spend your mon­ey with them any­way.
A sim­ple google search will tell you the mega-cor­po­ra­tions that are sup­port­ing white suprema­cy. In many cas­es, they give huge sums of mon­ey to right-wing caus­es and sup­port Republican can­di­dates.
It is time that we real­ize that free­dom is nev­er free, that every gen­er­a­tion has to fight for it, or lose it.

Mike Beckles is a for­mer Jamaican police Detective cor­po­ral, busi­ness­man, researcher, and blog­ger. 
He is a black achiev­er hon­oree, and pub­lish­er of the blog chatt​-​a​-box​.com. 
He’s also a con­trib­u­tor to sev­er­al web­sites.
You may sub­scribe to his blogs free of charge, or sub­scribe to his Youtube chan­nel @chatt-a-box, for the lat­est pod­cast all free to you of course.